General information: a guide

ph. Kaja Marchewka

In November, we'll take you on another journey through the united states of cinema. The 12. American Film Festival equals the power of film impressions – favorite sections such as Highlights and retrospectives will return; films will compete again for awards in the Spectrum and American Docs competitions, and the Perspectives section will make its debut. However, this year's edition is unique in terms of the challenges that the organizers face due to the (COVID-19) pandemic.

We will do our utmost to make you feel comfortable and safe during the festival, but a lot depends on our cooperation with you – attendees of the American Film Festival. Below you’ll find a guide to help you find your way around the festival, i.a.information on changes in the reservation system and sanitary rules.

Health safety 

This year, sanitary measures are a priority. These guidelines will help, you as attendees and us as organizers, ensure the highest possible level of safety. We strongly ask that you comply with the rules below:

  • wear a mask (e.g. with an FFP2 filter), covering your mouth and nose, at festival venues (New Horizons Cinema, Vertigo Jazz Club). We require that masks are covering your nose and mouth at all times in interior spaces, also during film screenings,
  • maintain a distance of 1.5 m between viewers at festival venues,
  • disinfect your hands when entering any festival facility and before entering the screening room (you will find special hand disinfection stations at the venues),
  • should you notice any symptoms or feel ill while on festival premises, please inform the festival staff immediately!

As organizers, we will ensure that:

  • screening rooms will be filled to maximum 75% capacity (limit applies to all people); this limit may change if the Chief Sanitary Inspectorate issues new guidelines,
  • we disinfect rooms and common areas as often as possible,
  • you will find hand disinfection stations at the venues,
  • the festival venues have stations that allow you to measure body temperature,
  • our staff works in rotation, using appropriate hygienic safeguards, while the festival center and ticket offices staff will be protected by transparent screens,
  • our staff has been trained in the prevention of SARS-CoV-2 virus infections and procedures in the event of disease symptoms.

Below, some helpful tips to take care of our common safety even better:

  • use digital materials – passes, tickets, festival program – as much as possible
  • avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth,
  • remember to wash and disinfect your hands frequently,
  • pay attention to your health: if you feel unwell, don't go to the cinema! In such event please proceed as follows:

a) if you’re from Wrocław or the surrounding area – contact your primary care physician by phone,

b) if you’re visiting Wrocław – contact the Night and Holiday Healthcare facility by phone or use the First Contact Teleplatform;

keep this contact handy: 800 190 590 - 24/7 NFZ Helpline.

Passes and tickets

Opening hours

Festival center
November 9-14, 8:45 AM - 9:00 PM

  • pass-holder costumer service (pass pick-up)
  • guest & industry service center
  • press office

Ticket office
November 9-14, from 8:45 AM till the start of the last screening

  • festival ticket office
  • collecting tickets purchased online

Booking system opens at 8:30 AM, as per usual

Perhaps, after the New Horizons IFF, it would seem that you will also have to get up at 8:00 AM on festival days in November. However, booking films during the American Film Festival will take place at the usual time: beginning from 9th November, 8:30 AM you can reserve seats for shows on 9th and 10th November and from 10th November, 8:30 AM for the current and following day (e.g. on November 11th, you can reserve seats for shows on that day and November 12th). 

Practice makes perfect: booking system demo

Each festival attendee will receive their login in advance, which they can use to log on to the demo version of the booking system to practice "clicking" on screenings earlier.

Booking stations no longer available at festival venues

We know the feeling: physical hunger wins over cinematic hunger so, to satisfy the former, at the last minute we “click off” a selected screening using one of the public computers in the cinema space and head out to grab some food. However, for the sake of our common safety, this year we had to give up the computers that allowed us to make and cancel reservations. All (unwelcome) microbes love computer keyboards. The process of disinfecting public computers would take too long and be contrary to the idea of fast booking. But every cloud has a silver lining: free Wi-Fi is available at festival venues and our booking system works efficiently in the mobile version. We encourage you to use your own devices.

Plastic? No, thank you

We know that mass events generate a large carbon footprint. Which is why we strive to reduce the non-ecological, with each subsequent edition of the American Film Festival. One way is to reduce the number of festival tote bags, plastic badges and paper tickets. We encourage you to use digital tickets (as recommended by the Ministry of Culture, National Heritage and Sport and the Chief Sanitary Inspectorate) – digital pass/accreditation is available after logging in by clicking on the profile icon (under "digital pass" button). If your eye catches a person with a printed pass – in most cases it will be someone from the festival’s crew. That way it’s easier to identify the members of our team. We recommend collecting your badge throughout the entire festival (not on the first day), to avoid queues.

Digital pass: reservations and admission to screenings

A printed pass is not required to make a reservation. Just log in at americanfilmfestival.pl and show your digital pass (screenshot or its downloaded version) before entering the screening. Remember to brighten the screen and ensure good quality of the file/screenshot before presenting the pass.

Fewer festival ticket offices – we recommend purchasing tickets online

This is also a recommendation of the Ministry of Culture, National Heritage and Sport and the Chief Sanitary Inspectorate. Fewer box offices mean greater security (both for you and festival employees). We encourage you to purchase tickets through our website – the entire sales system is intuitive and easy to use. 

Note: Festival box offices open November 9 (at 8:45 at the New Horizons Cinema). Prior to that, the only way to purchase tickets is online at nowehoryzonty.pl.

Audience voting

We will place special ballot boxes in front of each screening room for the competition films. Place your ballots in the boxes after indicating a rating of the film by appropriately tearing the ballot. You can pick up the ballots before entering the screening room. Volunteers and voting coordinators can help in problematic cases, but the whole process will be carried out as contactless as possible.

What should you know about on-site screenings?

As every year, festival attendees are bound by the same rules of participating in film screenings, which will ensure the comfort of both the audience and festival employees:

  • Attendees who are late for the film screening will not be allowed to enter – the absolute principle of punctuality applies.
  • The venues have unassigned seating.
  • We recommend arriving in advance – the screening rooms open 30 minutes before the screening.
  • Due to sanitary safety, the number of printed catalogs is limited – please keep a digital version of the catalog downloaded on your mobile device. It will be both safe and environmentally friendly.
  • We recommend that you follow the festival's website. As the event is also attended by people with festival passes, for whom a separate pool of seats is provided, individual places often return for sale. If there are no tickets available for the selected film, on a given day, chances are that individual seats may be up for grabs!

Food, drinks, chilling out

Festival cafes and bistros – take away only

We will not let you go hungry. During American Film Festival, we hope you’ll enjoy the bistro and café at festival venues, however, all restaurants will only serve take-out meals and drinks. We need to reserve as much space as possible for appropriate and safe traffic control in cinemas, so we're giving up eating areas during the festival.

Special events

Wo/man does not live by film alone. During this year's American Film Festival, other great events await you: a masterclass with John Waters, his stand-up comedy performance at the Vertigo Jazz Club combined with a drag show We Are Divine (tickets via the club's website); Jazz Morning Kids! Film Matinées with Live Music and discussion panels led by Michał Nogaś at Sztuka na Miejscu. 

Please note: The festival pass or accreditation does not entitle you to enter the stand-up show or masterclass of John Waters. Admission to the literary meetings conducted by Michał Nogaś is free (limit of 70 seats).

Festival merchandise

During the 12th American Film Festival, you’ll have a chance to buy publications of the New Horizons Association and festival gadgets (including attendees’ favorite souvenir – the festival tote bag). The merchandise will be available at the festival ticket offices and at the New Horizons Cinema bookstore – Tajne Komplety.

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